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April 23, 2020

How do we hope when fear is the virus?

I find myself in a strange place this week, similar to a rollercoaster I feel hopeful one moment and then frustrated and angry the next. Life just isn't normal, and part of me understands that it will not be normal for a very long time but then another part of me wants to run out in the streets and hug, touch, speak side by side with someone, anyone. I miss my parents, I dread the thought of summer alone in the house with the kids with nothing to do.  I worry about the social impact of this on my kids, my youngest in particular as he's the active extroverted one. I worry about the closed doors that are hiding deep problems of abuse. Kids who have no escape, nowhere to run if things get bad. The women who are even now being kicked, hit, or battered with words, who have no one to turn too, nowhere to hide. I worry about the men and women who are alone, slowing the isolation will creep into their soul and the loneliness will eat at them. I struggle when I hear of people who are ill from non-Covid related diseases but who can't access help because our hospitals are in a holding pattern waiting for a surge that may never happen, or the clinical trials that people count on that have been shut down, the research that has stopped, I worry about all the non-Covid things that are being left to rot because of the fear of Covid. I don't believe in what the US is doing, the protests and callousness that I see, or the silly remarks I have heard that Covid is made up but I wonder, deep down if we are allowing fear to take us too far down a dark path that will be very very hard to come back from. We can't discount everything for the sake of Covid 19. We have to find a way forward that helps and heals, we have to care for those at risk while also caring for the people who aren't. I wish I had the answers, but I know that hope is a huge part of what pulls people through times of crisis and I watch the news and I lose the hope that I was clinging too. When will someone, anyone, start talking about a plan to move forward, a plan that offers hope, a plan that shines a light down the tunnel for us? I see so much fear, and I worry that the fear will guide us, not our heads.

I always try to end a post on a hopeful note... I'm afraid my head isn't in it today. I against my better judgement watched the news this morning and just became frustrated and angry instead. I should have written yesterday when I felt more hopeful. Instead I guess I will ask you to pray, for me and for our leaders, for our friends and for the people who are working to keep this virus contained. We can't kill it, eventually it will have to run it's course and I pray that fear will not block the wisdom needed to make the hard decisions on when we start to move from fear to healing.  That God will lead our leaders in making wise decisions.

Pray too for those who have small businesses, the local shops that are at high risk of losing it all. If you are one, if you know one, please post in the comments the link so that people can shop locally while this continues.

I will start with one sweet little bookstore that I know called Ellaminnow on Queen st east.  Your kids need to read, they need something to do, why not help a local shop while also doing something nice for your kids.  

There is so much to be praying for in these odd times. I will pray for you, please, take a moment  to stop and pray for us.


April 17, 2020

Step out ...

Toronto - Closed

Pandemic week 4 or 5: It has been a long few weeks. I have sat down to write a thousand times and either one of the kids comes to ask a question (usually preceeded by the announcement that they are hungry) or I sit and stare at the blank screen lost in thought and unable to articulate my feelings. I know what I want to say sometimes, but the truth is it all seems to so redundant. No one knows what is happeneing and it's easy to lose yourself in the unknown and just wallow in it. Losing patience is the first thing to go. At first it's so unreal and different that it's almost comical but horribly so. The first week of this insanity I found myself laughing at all the memes and jokes,sharing them on social media and getting a kick out of sharing them. Week two they seemed less humerous. I came back to Toronto from the cottage because Tim and I wanted some normalcy for the boys. We started a schedule, we cleaned the house from top to bottom, I baked, we walked and got outside everyday. Week three I cried. I cried a lot. I was frustrated, I felt hopeless, angry, easily irritated by the guys I love most. (All three of them). I began searching for anything that would be different. Tim has to run an errand? We are in! That sounds exciting! It is humiliating how desperate I have become for any answers as to an end date. It is frustrating how fast I am losing my mind when they extend the date yet again. 

So this is the thing. To live in faith with doubts is to stop, look back at the past victories and then see how God worked, then step out with trust that he will again work, redeem, comfort, show mercy, and most important in times like this... offer hope. 

I wake up every morning with the same sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that I had in the weeks following Joshua's birth. All the days and nights of not knowing when this would end, how it would end, if it would end, all the hours of begging for answers and getting nowhere. The moments when I sat in silence not hearing God's voice. The moments when I realized that I wasn't in control and it nearly drove me out of my mind. 

I have been in this place before, 12 years ago I lived it. So I sit down and I start to think about how God worked, I see his hand over every part of that time in our life. I look across the table now at the kid who sits in front of me doing his home work, the kid I worried so much about and I know that I can step out in trust again on this. I can't hear God speaking but I know from past experience that it means he is here, he's listening, and when the time is right his voice will cover me like a blanket of comfort. That is what I know without doubt because I am not in control and he is, and if he is then the outcome will be okay. It may not be easy, it rarely is, but it will be okay, we won't be alone. If he's in this, which he is, then we can rest in him. We can use this time as a blessed rest, a time of sabbath and put aside the fears, the anxiety, the unknowns. 

So I guess my message today would be for you to take a moment, sit somewhere quiet. Identify the feeling in your gut and remember the last time you felt it, then look back at how God managed and redeemed it. Then, and this is the hard part. Talk to him, tell him how you feel and what you fear, and step out, take his hand and walk on the faith that he has planted under your feet. 

a moment that wouldn't have happened if they had been in school and not in lockdown

Be safe, keep hope.